Obama Invites Hero Pilot to Inauguration

Sullenberger will reunite with family in Washington
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 19, 2009 9:19 AM CST
In this Jan. 11, 2009, file photo, the West Front of the Capitol in Washington is seen during an early-morning rehearsal for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The pilot of downed US Airways Flight 1549 has received a personal invitation to tomorrow’s inauguration from Barack Obama, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The event will also give Chesley Sullenberger, who gained national-hero status for guiding the damaged plane to safety, a chance to see his wife and daughters for the first time since Thursday’s incident.

The family is “just overwhelmed beyond belief. It's extraordinary for them,” said the mayor of Sullenberger’s hometown, the Bay Area suburb of Danville. “Lorrie and their daughters want to see their dad. It is a pretty important thing for them to physically hug and hold him.” Sullenberger can also expect a hero’s welcome when he returns home next weekend.